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True Love: A Practice for Awakening the Heart

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In this little treasure, Thich Nhat Hanh, the renowned Zen monk, offers timeless insight into the nature of real love. With simplicity, warmth, and directness, he explores the four key aspects of love as described in the Buddhist tradition: lovingkindness, compassion, joy, and freedom—explaining how to experience them in our day-to-day lives. He also emphasizes that in ord In this little treasure, Thich Nhat Hanh, the renowned Zen monk, offers timeless insight into the nature of real love. With simplicity, warmth, and directness, he explores the four key aspects of love as described in the Buddhist tradition: lovingkindness, compassion, joy, and freedom—explaining how to experience them in our day-to-day lives. He also emphasizes that in order to love in a real way, we must first learn how to be fully present in our lives, and he offers simple techniques from the Buddhist tradition that anyone can use to establish the conditions of love. Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk, is an internationally known author, poet, scholar, and peace activist who was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Martin Luther King Jr.


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In this little treasure, Thich Nhat Hanh, the renowned Zen monk, offers timeless insight into the nature of real love. With simplicity, warmth, and directness, he explores the four key aspects of love as described in the Buddhist tradition: lovingkindness, compassion, joy, and freedom—explaining how to experience them in our day-to-day lives. He also emphasizes that in ord In this little treasure, Thich Nhat Hanh, the renowned Zen monk, offers timeless insight into the nature of real love. With simplicity, warmth, and directness, he explores the four key aspects of love as described in the Buddhist tradition: lovingkindness, compassion, joy, and freedom—explaining how to experience them in our day-to-day lives. He also emphasizes that in order to love in a real way, we must first learn how to be fully present in our lives, and he offers simple techniques from the Buddhist tradition that anyone can use to establish the conditions of love. Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk, is an internationally known author, poet, scholar, and peace activist who was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Martin Luther King Jr.

30 review for True Love: A Practice for Awakening the Heart

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan Hiskes

    I bought it in Vancouver and was stopped at customs on the way back. "Any purchases in Canada?" "Just a book." "What book?" "True Love." Awkward pause. "Have a good day." I bought it in Vancouver and was stopped at customs on the way back. "Any purchases in Canada?" "Just a book." "What book?" "True Love." Awkward pause. "Have a good day."

  2. 4 out of 5

    Summer

    I've read this book in one sitting. Yes, It's a short one, but it's also an interesting one. Recently I started reading books about buddhism and zen. These books make me so peaceful and I am learning so much! I am improving myself because of them. Read this book. It will show you how important it is to be present in the moment. That's a game changer. I've read this book in one sitting. Yes, It's a short one, but it's also an interesting one. Recently I started reading books about buddhism and zen. These books make me so peaceful and I am learning so much! I am improving myself because of them. Read this book. It will show you how important it is to be present in the moment. That's a game changer.

  3. 4 out of 5

    April

    I "stumbled" upon this book about a week before Valentine's Day and thought "wow, that's perfect timing!" I am new to Thich Nhat Hanh but had been wanting to read his books for many years, just never made the time, so as someone new to his voice and only somewhat familiar with Buddhism, I thought this book was well articulated, easy to read, and I found many passages resonating beautifully with what I already knew/understood about life and love. True Love was a wonderful introduction to Thich Nh I "stumbled" upon this book about a week before Valentine's Day and thought "wow, that's perfect timing!" I am new to Thich Nhat Hanh but had been wanting to read his books for many years, just never made the time, so as someone new to his voice and only somewhat familiar with Buddhism, I thought this book was well articulated, easy to read, and I found many passages resonating beautifully with what I already knew/understood about life and love. True Love was a wonderful introduction to Thich Nhat Hahn for me - and as a bonus in my digital copy is a sneek peek to "You Are Here" which I have on loan from a friend and now can't wait to start next. I won't spoil the contents of the book, every person should have the joy of discovering it for themselves, but it was good, deep, profound in it's simplicity, and I have been using the mantras that are talked about in the book, leaving me with a deeper, more present awareness of the love that I am, the love I have to offer, and the love that is always available to/through me.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    After reading countless upon countless reviews of this book, I could not wait to get it. Seriously, I could have waited. I should have waited. Maybe it's my allergy to self-help books or maybe I'm just not open enough, but I'm gonna be a rebel and give this book a 1. Between encouraging words of developing co-dependency, comforting your own bitterness, gladly providing the other cheek when the other side is still pulsating from that last hit and popping into a trance any time anything in life - After reading countless upon countless reviews of this book, I could not wait to get it. Seriously, I could have waited. I should have waited. Maybe it's my allergy to self-help books or maybe I'm just not open enough, but I'm gonna be a rebel and give this book a 1. Between encouraging words of developing co-dependency, comforting your own bitterness, gladly providing the other cheek when the other side is still pulsating from that last hit and popping into a trance any time anything in life - be it the phone ringing or your mom just showed up at your door with a list of your faults already alphabetized and color coded - happens, I have to wonder...really? What happened to getting over your crap? What happened to self-respect and loving yourself enough to NOT gladly take those jabs and ask for another? What happened to independence? What happened to working on those coping skills? In a world where everybody blames everyone else for their own problems, people are getting picked off simply because someone had a bad day, and dogs are selected on the looks-least-like-a-lawsuit-waiting-to-happen ( pour a lil' on the curb for the pitbulls), is pacifism really the way to go? Then again, maybe my heart's just too damn tired.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Patricia

    A dear friend recommended this book to me, and I'm very grateful. It is concise, clear and tender. I loved the mantras and mindfulness practices. These were the highlights, for me: The four elements of true love are: 1. maitri: loving-kindness or benevolence (the desire and ability to make someone happy) 2. karuna: compassion (the desire and ability to ease the pain of another person) 3. mudita: joy 4. upeksha: equanimity or freedom Mantras: “Dear one, I am here for you.” “Dear one, I know that you are A dear friend recommended this book to me, and I'm very grateful. It is concise, clear and tender. I loved the mantras and mindfulness practices. These were the highlights, for me: The four elements of true love are: 1. maitri: loving-kindness or benevolence (the desire and ability to make someone happy) 2. karuna: compassion (the desire and ability to ease the pain of another person) 3. mudita: joy 4. upeksha: equanimity or freedom Mantras: “Dear one, I am here for you.” “Dear one, I know that you are here, and it makes me very happy.” “Dear one, I know that you are suffering, that is why I am here for you.” “Dear one, I am suffering, please help.” “Dear one, do you have enough space in your heart and all around you?” “I know that you are there, little anger, my old friend. Breathe—I am taking care of you now.” The practice of mindful breathing: “Breathing—I know that I am breathing in; breathing—I know that I am breathing out.” (p. 7) “Breathing in—I know that the flower is there; breathing out—I smile at the flower.” (p. 15) “Breathing in—I see myself as a child of five. Breathing in—I see my dad as a little child of five; breathing out—I smile at the little boy who was my dad.” (p. 41) “Breathing in—I know that I am angry; breathing out—I know that the anger is still in me.” (p. 58) “Breathing in—I know that it is my nature to grow old; breathing out—I know that no one can escape from old age.” (p. 59) “Breathing in—I am aware of my eyes. Breathing out—I am smiling at my eyes.” (p. 72) “Breathing in—I am aware of my heart; breathing out—I am smiling at my heart.” (p. 74) “Breathing in—I know that you are there; breathing out—thank you for being there.” (p. 75) “Breathing in—I am calming myself; breathing out—I am smiling.” (p. 86) “I am determined to practice deep listening. I am determined to practice loving speech.” (p. 88) “Breathing in—I know that he is alive in my arms; breathing out—I am very glad about it.” (p. 90) “Training is needed in order to love properly; and to be able to give happiness and joy, you must practice deep looking directed toward the person you love. Because if you do not understand this person, you cannot love properly. Understanding is the essence of love. If you cannot understand, you cannot love. What must we do in order to understand a person? We must have time; we must practice looking deeply into this person. We must be there, attentive; we must observe, we must look deeply. And the fruit of this looking deeply is called understanding. You must practice deep looking in order to gain a good understanding of the nature of the suffering of this person, in order to be able to help him or her to change. …The practice of understanding is the practice of meditation. If you are suffering all the time, if you cry all the time, and if you make the person you love cry, this is not really love. In true love, you attain freedom. When you love, you bring freedom to the person you love. …You must love in such a way that the person you love feels free, not only outside but also inside. “Dear one, do you have enough space in your heart and all around you?”” (p. 1-4) “The most precious gift you can give to the one you love is your true presence. …Perhaps this evening you will try for a few minutes to practice mindful breathing in order to bring your body and mind together. You will approach the person you love and with this mindfulness, with this concentration, you will look into his or her eyes, and you will begin to utter this formula: “Dear one, I am really here for you.”“ (p. 6-7, 9-10) “When you are really there, you have the ability to recognize the presence of the other. …To love is to be; to be loved is to be recognized by the other. …”Dear one, I know that you are here, and it makes me very happy.” (p. 13-15) “When you are living mindfully, you know what is happening in your situation in the present moment. Therefore it is easy for you to notice when the person you love is suffering. At such a time you go to him or her, with your body and mind unified, with concentration, and you utter the third mantra: “Dear one, I know that you are suffering, that is why I am here for you.” Because when we are suffering, we have a strong need for the presence of the person we love. If we are suffering and the man or woman we love ignores us, then we suffer more. So what we can do—right away—is to manifest our true presence to the beloved person and say the mantra with all our mindfulness. …Even before you actually do something to help, the person you love is relieved. Your presence is a miracle, your understanding of his or her pain is a miracle, and you are able to offer this aspect of your love immediately. Really try to be there, for yourself, for life, for the people that you love. Recognize the presence of those who live in the same place as you and try to be there when one of them is suffering, because your presence is so precious for this person.” (p. 19-21) “If you are suffering, every time you are suffering you must go to the person in question and ask for his or her help. That is true love. Do not let pride keep you apart. …”Dear one, I am suffering, please help.” We are subject to misperceptions every day, so we have to pay attention. Every time you think it is somebody else who is causing the suffering, …you must always check things out by going to the person in question and asking for his or her help.” (p. 24-31) “[I]f we love someone, we should train in being able to listen. By listening with calm and understanding, we can ease the suffering of another person. An hour spent in this way can already relieve a great deal of another person’s pain. …As we listen, we do not say anything; we breathe deeply and we open our hearts in order to really listen to one another. One hour of this kind of listening is very effective, and it is something very precious that can be offered to the person you love.” (p. 37-38) “Meditation is the practice of looking deeply into the nature of your suffering and your joy. Through the energy of mindfulness, through concentration, looking deeply into the nature of our suffering makes it possible for us to see the deep causes of that suffering. If you can keep mindfulness and concentration alive, then looking deeply will reveal to you the true nature of your pain. And freedom will arise as a result of your sustaining a deep vision into the nature of your pain.” (p. 42) “The Buddha said this: “The object of your practice should first of all be yourself. Your love for the other, your ability to love another person, depends on your ability to love yourself.” Each of us is a king who reigns over a very vast territory that has five rivers. The first river is our body, which we do not know well enough. The second is the river of sensations. Each sensation is a drop of water in this river. There are pleasant sensations, other that are unpleasant, and neutral sensations. To meditate is to sit down on the bank of the river of sensations and identify each sensation as it arises. The third is the river of perceptions, which it is necessary to observe. You must look deeply into their nature in order to understand. The fourth is the river of mental formations, of which there are fifty-one. And finally, the fifth is the river of consciousness. Our territory is really very vast, but we are not responsible kings or queens. We always try to dodge away and we do not keep up a real surveillance of our territory. We have the feeling that there are immense conflicts there, too much suffering, too much pain—that is the reason we are very hesitant to get back to our territory. Our daily practice consists in running away. If we have a moment free, we will make use of it to watch television or read a magazine article so we will not have to go back to our territory. We are afraid of the suffering that is inside us, afraid of war and conflicts. The practice of mindfulness, the practice of meditation, consists of coming back to ourselves in order to restore peace and harmony. The energy with which we can do this is the energy of mindfulness. “ (p. 44-46) “Buddhist meditation is based on the principle of nonduality. This means that if we are mindfulness, if we are love, we are also ignorance, we are also suffering, and there is no reason to suppress anything at all. …Mindfulness is like a light, enabling concentration to really be there, and that also makes it possible for us to look deeply into the heart of things. From this looking deeply is born deep vision, understanding. …Wherever this energy exists, there is attention, understanding, love, compassion. And this energy has the power to heal. …Anger is one energy, mindfulness is another, and this second kind of energy arises in order to care for the first like a mother caring for her baby.” (p. 50-54) “So every time you have an energy that needs to be transformed, like jealousy or fear, do something to care for this energy, for this negative energy, if you do not want this energy to destroy you. …When you have pain within you, the first thing to do is to bring the energy of mindfulness to embrace the pain. “I know that you are there, little anger, my old friend. Breathe—I am taking care of you now.” …If we practice the politics of repression and suppression, then we create a situation of bad circulation for our mental formations, such as fear, anger, despair, suffering. And because things are not circulating properly in our conscious mind, then the symptoms of mental illness appear: depression and stress. If we practice cultivating this energy of mindfulness every day, we will have enough of it to take care of our pains. Every time pain manifests, we will welcome it. We will really be there to take care of it, and the energy needed to take care of it is without a doubt the energy of mindfulness.” (p. 55-61) “When our pain comes up, it remains for a period of time at the level of the conscious mind… It loses energy every time it is embraced by the energy of mindfulness, which is really a mother. There is no battle between good and evil, positive and negative; there is only the care given by the big brother to the little brother. In Buddhist meditation, we observe, we act in a nondualistic fashion, and thus the waste materials of the conscious mind can always be transformed into flowers of compassion, love, and peace. Our consciousness is a living thing, something organic in nature. There are always waste materials and flowers in us. The gardener who is familiar with organic gardening is constantly on the alert to save the waste materials because he knows how to transform them into compost and then transform that compost into flowers and vegetables. So be grateful for your pains, be grateful for suffering—you will need them. …We know well that suffering helps us to understand, that it nurtures our compassion, and that for this reason it is vitally necessary for us.” (p. 65-69) “[T]here should be no conflict, no violence, between one element of our being and another element of our being. There should only be an effort of taking care and being able to transform. So we must have a nonviolent attitude with regard to our suffering, our pain. We must take care of our suffering the way we would take care of our own baby.” (p. 72) “I said that we are kings or queens and that our territory is extremely vast. The energy of mindfulness is what makes it possible for us to carry out close surveillance of this territory. We must maintain surveillance of our territory in order to know what is going on there, who is there, what conflicts are there, what wars, what suffering. And it is only through a precise view of your territory that you can manage actually to do something and restore harmony and order there.” (p. 78-79) “Without mindfulness, we live like the dead. And every time mindfulness is born, we are born again into the country (Pure Land) of Buddha, on Buddha’s earth, into the Kingdom of God. In the Psalms, we read the following: “Thou art my son; today have I begotten thee.” (p. 81) “Every time the phone rings, it creates a small vibration in you. There is not true peace—there is a hint of worry: Who is it that’s calling? Is this going to be good news or bad news? You cannot hold yourself back and you run immediately to the phone. In Plum Village, we remain where we are and we consider the sound of the telephone to be like the bell of mindfulness. “Breathing in—I am calming myself; breathing out—I am smiling.” Then we go to the telephone in the style of walking meditation, but before that we practice mindful breathing. …So we remain there when the telephone rings, and we practice. Listen, listen: this wonderful sound brings me back to the present moment. On the third ring, you can go get it, but with dignity and in the style of walking meditation. You breathe, you smile, and you behave in such a way that peace is within you. This is a good thing, not only for you but also for the person who is calling, because you will not be irritated. If you are the person who is calling, you should do the following—you can learn this little text, or to begin with, put it by your phone, because it can open the door to understanding and bring back harmony: “I am determined to practice deep listening. I am determined to practice loving speech.” Each of these two lines corresponds to an inbreath or an outbreath, and after having breathed in this way twice, you will have more calm. You have made a vow to practice attentive listenting and to practice loving speech—now you are qualified to dial the number. When the phone rings on the other end, you are not in a hurry, because you know that the other person is in the midst of practicing breathing. Imagine both people practicing, smiling and being calm.” (p. 85-89) “To practice hugging meditation, you must practice three mindful breaths, then form a lotus flower with your hands. At the same time the other person also prepares in the same way. And when you take the person you love in your arms, you must practice deeply. “Breathing in—I know that he is alive in my arms; breathing out—I am very glad about it.” Three times like that, and you are really there, and the other person is really there too. It is a very pleasant practice, which brings you back to the present moment.” (p. 90) “…If you are a journalist, a teacher, or a filmmaker, you should practice mindfulness—for the sake of your own calm and your own happiness, but also for that of other people as well. Because we need your calm, your compassion, your understanding. So we should be mindful as individuals but also as a community, as a family, as a nation.” (p. 93-94) “In Buddhism, the greatest relief or solace that we can obtain is that of touching nirvana, where nonfear has become something that is part of everyday life. We have a great fear inside ourselves. We are afraid of everything—of our death, of being alone, of change—and the practice of mindfulness helps us to touch nonfear. It is only here that you can experience total relief, total happiness. …In the beginning we think that we have a beginning and an end, a birth and a death, and we might think that before our birth we were not there and after our death we will not be there, and we get caught up in the concept of being and nonbeing. Together let us look deeply at a wave in the ocean. It lives its life of a wave, but it lives the life of water at the same time. If the wave were able to turn toward itself and touch its substance, which is water, then it would be able to attain nonfear and nirvana.” (p. 95-96) “Fear is born from our ignorance, from our concepts regarding life, death, being, and nonbeing. If we are able to get rid of all these concepts by touching the reality within ourselves, then nonfear will be there and the greatest relief will become possible.” (p. 100)

  6. 5 out of 5

    Michele Harrod

    I enjoyed this little gem very much. A wonderful reminder that love is so much more about what we give out rather than what we recieve. It also touches on the important things that we do forget in our busy lives, like what 'being there' in a relationship is really all about; a reminder of the importance of mindfulness, and my favourite subject at the moment, about breaking down the 'concepts' - the 'stories' we have been told and tell ourselves, that we are so convinced are real and accurate and I enjoyed this little gem very much. A wonderful reminder that love is so much more about what we give out rather than what we recieve. It also touches on the important things that we do forget in our busy lives, like what 'being there' in a relationship is really all about; a reminder of the importance of mindfulness, and my favourite subject at the moment, about breaking down the 'concepts' - the 'stories' we have been told and tell ourselves, that we are so convinced are real and accurate and true, and that we think make us 'who we are' and others, who we aren't!! They are all only stories - and this one is a lovely version to put all of our existing ones into perspective. A lovely book to read as I lay on the sand in a Buddhist country. Got my head space right from the very beginning!

  7. 5 out of 5

    ElizaBeth

    This book changed my life. It's better if read constantly; I pick it up, open a page, and start reading. By reading a few pages every day I center myself, feel more calm and present, and really do connect to my partner and myself on a much deeper level. This book changed my life. It's better if read constantly; I pick it up, open a page, and start reading. By reading a few pages every day I center myself, feel more calm and present, and really do connect to my partner and myself on a much deeper level.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Charity

    First I have to say that I loved this book but I may be somewhat biased because I love all of this author's writing. Thich Nhat Hanh has always, to me, been a great teacher in Buddhist Dharma as well as learning how to be more compassionate and how to love oneself. Anyway, this book is a short and easy read but the concepts are often difficult to put into practice and that is why Thich Nhat Hanh has a talent for explaning methods of meditation and "returning home" that is a welcome breath of fre First I have to say that I loved this book but I may be somewhat biased because I love all of this author's writing. Thich Nhat Hanh has always, to me, been a great teacher in Buddhist Dharma as well as learning how to be more compassionate and how to love oneself. Anyway, this book is a short and easy read but the concepts are often difficult to put into practice and that is why Thich Nhat Hanh has a talent for explaning methods of meditation and "returning home" that is a welcome breath of fresh air. He stresses that meditation isn't easy but it is necessary. Anything in life worth doing is usually never simple. In the first few chapters of the book, Thich Nhat Hanh gives advice on how to love your partner or lover more completely through understanding. He talks about how to better communicate through compassion thus enabling us to stay present for our loved ones rather than get sucked up in anger or any other type of emotion. The last half of the book focuses more on doing what it takes to show more compassion towards yourself and how to practice the teachings so that you can love others more fully. And that is where I think many people miss the mark in the book. If you are looking for a book to teach you only how to love others, then you may have been approaching this read with unfair expectations. While the book is definitely good for its word, we still must recognize that Thich Nhat Hanh is a Buddhist practitioner therefore he does teach that we must love ourselves in order to love others. By being kind to ourselves, committing random acts of kindness, being present in our everyday lives and situations, we can open ourselves up to be loved and to be in love. This is an important part of Buddhist teaching and I believe it to be an integral method to learning how to allow yourself to do what the beginning of the book talks about. Thich Nhat Hanh writes books that can help many people of many different faith backgrounds and environments if those same people are open to recognizing what he is really saying. That being said, I often find his books repetitive (e.g., I have read the story about the man and his wife as well as the one about the wave and the ocean many times) but I find the reminders necessary. And while I thought this particular book could have been written with a bit of a smoother flow, I still find value in his words and message. If you read it once and didn't understand or you focused more on the logistics of the flow more than the message, I would recommend that you try again - slower this time, and while being present. Perhaps your mind will change. If it doesn't, that is okay too. Different strokes for different folks, right? Namaste!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Faye

    This is probably the third time I've read this book and I still really liked it. The chapter on telephone meditation got me thinking of ways to combat my own telephone phobia. It's also one of those books that just generally reminds you to stop from time to time and look around you - really look around you - and appreciate the people in your life and the natural world you live in. A very necessary reminder. I was really disappointed in his discussion of mental health though, as he claimed that mi This is probably the third time I've read this book and I still really liked it. The chapter on telephone meditation got me thinking of ways to combat my own telephone phobia. It's also one of those books that just generally reminds you to stop from time to time and look around you - really look around you - and appreciate the people in your life and the natural world you live in. A very necessary reminder. I was really disappointed in his discussion of mental health though, as he claimed that mindfulness & meditation were enough to cure all mental health problems. Please, if you need to, get to a doctor or therapist. Meditation can't hurt, but it seems really irresponsible to tell people that nothing more than meditation is needed.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Venkatesh

    This is the first book i read in one sitting........_/\_

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ying Ying

    Short and simple, it feels like a guided meditation to more love.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Smitha Murthy

    A simple book that combines the four aspects of love as per the Buddhist tradition: compassion, loving-kindness, joy, and freedom. There’s not much theorization in the book - rather you find a set of simple precepts on loving another human being. I can't imagine talking to someone the way Thich Nhat Hanh urges - I am suffering dear one, please help me -but I understand where my pride stands before my talk. At the same time, Thich Nhat Hanh urges mindfulness in everyday acts - and I found these t A simple book that combines the four aspects of love as per the Buddhist tradition: compassion, loving-kindness, joy, and freedom. There’s not much theorization in the book - rather you find a set of simple precepts on loving another human being. I can't imagine talking to someone the way Thich Nhat Hanh urges - I am suffering dear one, please help me -but I understand where my pride stands before my talk. At the same time, Thich Nhat Hanh urges mindfulness in everyday acts - and I found these tips the most helpful. “Breathe in, be aware of your heart. Breathe out, smile at your heart.” Smiling at my heart is the last thing I do - grimacing at its broken doors and panes is probably more like it. But the gentle instructions are like a breath of mist, dandelions curving in the wind, a leaf’s stem or a flower’s dance. Just a breath. So powerful.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Shahrazad

    Be mindful in love , be present , listen and see the person in front of you for who they are to be able to love them and give them what they need. Elaborates on mindfulness in all aspects of life including being mindful of your feelings , allowing the bad as well as the good to be present. 2.5 stars

  14. 4 out of 5

    Roma (Taylor's version)

    'Do you have time to love?' This was such a wise and healthy little read about the importance of healthy relaitonships and meditation. Great book to start working on mindulness, meditation and relatioships with partners, family members and friends, but most importantly with yourself. 'Do you have time to love?' This was such a wise and healthy little read about the importance of healthy relaitonships and meditation. Great book to start working on mindulness, meditation and relatioships with partners, family members and friends, but most importantly with yourself.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Brandi Johnson

    Simple and helpful and, at times, beautiful. Like all of his books, it’s packed full of so much wisdom and advice that I feel compelled to take notes and even re read passages. There is some repetition of lessons and personal stories from other books by the author. However, I find that useful to me in order to help me remember the concepts and practice more mindfully. Reading his books always makes me feel like I’m being taught by an incredibly wise and compassionate grandfather. 👍 👍

  16. 5 out of 5

    Victoria Carney

    I read this book at my cousins house in one day. It’s a quick read but contains beautiful concepts and ideas. It’s thought provoking and heart opening. I finished it thinking “I need to be a lot kinder to myself” and starting a path of self acceptance, love, patience, and compassion.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Meg

    One of my favorite books of all time. It changed the way I thought about and interacted with my own emotions, my relationships, and loved ones. It's a short read and went quickly for me. Thich Nhat Hanh presents all of his ideas and beliefs so simply that a child could understand, but I found the things he presents in the book profound. Despite it's length, I found myself only reading a chapter at a time and then giving myself several days in between to process and internalize it. I'd recommend One of my favorite books of all time. It changed the way I thought about and interacted with my own emotions, my relationships, and loved ones. It's a short read and went quickly for me. Thich Nhat Hanh presents all of his ideas and beliefs so simply that a child could understand, but I found the things he presents in the book profound. Despite it's length, I found myself only reading a chapter at a time and then giving myself several days in between to process and internalize it. I'd recommend this to everyone, but especially to any young adult or adult coming into or seeking to get a better grasp on self-awareness, self-love, and relationships.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Tanvika

    One important fact I have understood is that love is not just a dreamy feeling. It means serious work on a daily basis. It has great patience, presence,listening,loving speech, abdicating pride. The beginning is me. If I can't be peace myself, how is it possible that I will be able to live joyously with the world ? Essential read along with practice to make us lovers in reality. One important fact I have understood is that love is not just a dreamy feeling. It means serious work on a daily basis. It has great patience, presence,listening,loving speech, abdicating pride. The beginning is me. If I can't be peace myself, how is it possible that I will be able to live joyously with the world ? Essential read along with practice to make us lovers in reality.

  19. 4 out of 5

    ♥Dee♥

    this book is good so far it is teaching me thee real meaning of love

  20. 4 out of 5

    Melanie Filizola Ruiz

    I read this book aloud to my mother and every few chapters or so we would stop to discuss. One of the major insights we brought up a few times was about the deliberateness of mindfulness. Its about intention and focus. Being kind is not the same thing as not being rude or recalcitrant. Kindness takes effort and intent. Being available and open is not the same thing as not being unavailable. Listening is not the same thing as not speaking. Mindfulness is deliberateness. Something I noted several I read this book aloud to my mother and every few chapters or so we would stop to discuss. One of the major insights we brought up a few times was about the deliberateness of mindfulness. Its about intention and focus. Being kind is not the same thing as not being rude or recalcitrant. Kindness takes effort and intent. Being available and open is not the same thing as not being unavailable. Listening is not the same thing as not speaking. Mindfulness is deliberateness. Something I noted several times throughout the reading of this short text was that Hanh doesn't possess any particularly notable talent for writing. It is not his writing itself but rather the content that makes his work so profound. He writes with a marked simplicity about concepts that are similarly rudimentary. Displays of affection to loved ones should be a given. Communicating feelings and perceptions is universally how healthy relationships function. Rather, it is the simplicity of the concepts that lends to their true complexity. Something so succinct and precise should not be so difficult to reconcile and apply to daily living. And yet my mother and I, who read the book together, began bickering within minutes of finishing it. But perhaps what makes those simple truths so worthy of deliberation and application is that they are so difficult to establish. The effort of mindfulness, the constant striving toward a greater ideal is in itself mindfulness. The goal is not a constant state of mindfulness, but rather an awareness of mindfulness. An attempt. The attempt is the goal and the attempt is the success.

  21. 5 out of 5

    S.

    I noticed that all books related to the "awakening" emphasised on being in the Now, being present, and extra mindful with: "Every breath you take, Every move you make, Every bond you break (Martial Art), Every step you take, I'll be watching me" (I always thought of mindfulness as ignoring the stress and loads of tasks that await us, if you ignore it, it's not there ... =D ) "Now" is that magical want with which you attain the Nirvana of your stress, that's what you wish, deeply, like an ashamed f I noticed that all books related to the "awakening" emphasised on being in the Now, being present, and extra mindful with: "Every breath you take, Every move you make, Every bond you break (Martial Art), Every step you take, I'll be watching me" (I always thought of mindfulness as ignoring the stress and loads of tasks that await us, if you ignore it, it's not there ... =D ) "Now" is that magical want with which you attain the Nirvana of your stress, that's what you wish, deeply, like an ashamed fallen angel (Not even aiming at the beatific existence that the authors in general are referring to. I even thought of "Plum" the city from where the author comes as a piece from heaven) This book however, didn't just concentrate on "Love" as the cliché subject from a relational point of view, but went as far as to start with loving oneself, as the saying goes like : The longest way round is the shortest way home. Love thyself, love thy neighbour as thyself, and just be grateful. But most importantly : Cut the drama ! and هزها ملين خفافت... I especially was interested by the deep listening and loving speech section, I wrote down a few tricks to be able to practice them more.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Stacy Black

    A quick and easy read of simple reminders and methods for refocusing the mind on the present and the heart and soul on love.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Chamique Holdsclaw

    This book is clearly written. It's definitely a gem and opened my eyes and heart to what love really is. This book is clearly written. It's definitely a gem and opened my eyes and heart to what love really is.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Mat Davies

    This is the second book that I have read by this writer. There is a certain sadness to reading this in a city that witnessed a nuclear bomb in the past, and also on the day that the North Korean state decided to conduct a missile test over Japan. Anyway, What I really liked about this book were the philosophical buddhist insights to suffering and how to transform pain. It is great to be back into reading these kinds of books. Indeed, there is the practical use of meditation and outlook - and a p This is the second book that I have read by this writer. There is a certain sadness to reading this in a city that witnessed a nuclear bomb in the past, and also on the day that the North Korean state decided to conduct a missile test over Japan. Anyway, What I really liked about this book were the philosophical buddhist insights to suffering and how to transform pain. It is great to be back into reading these kinds of books. Indeed, there is the practical use of meditation and outlook - and a particularly relevant passage that points out that the negative things which are done to you, can lead to more mindfulness and indeed, a better person. I think that is a very important, albeit painful message. That, and more broader points about relationships. Also - this line: ''Without mindfulness, we are like the dead''

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    An absolutely amazing little book explaining the concept of true love from a Buddhist perspective and how the practice of mindfulness can help us live that love in our lives. There are four elements of true love: love, compassion, joy and freedom. In order to be able to practice these elements we need deep looking, which means we need to truly, deeply understand ourselves and the person we love, and the practice of mindfulness and meditation is the way to look deeply. I truly love this book and w An absolutely amazing little book explaining the concept of true love from a Buddhist perspective and how the practice of mindfulness can help us live that love in our lives. There are four elements of true love: love, compassion, joy and freedom. In order to be able to practice these elements we need deep looking, which means we need to truly, deeply understand ourselves and the person we love, and the practice of mindfulness and meditation is the way to look deeply. I truly love this book and will definitely come back to it over and over again, as well as read other works of Thich Nhat Hanh. I picked up this book because I wanted to know more about mindfulness, meditation and Buddhism and it exceeded my expectations. Read it!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Iphios

    This is a simple book. Simple in such a way that it does not speak of any excesses and only focuses on the necessary and yet, in the simplicity of the sentences one finds the profound. To be kind, to love, to be mindful and to be fully present are not the easiest things to do. While I am not a Buddhist, I read a lot of Zen literature as their approach to meditation and mindfulness parallels to what is needed to keep sane and to contemplation. In a world that throws us to the whirlwind of anxiety, This is a simple book. Simple in such a way that it does not speak of any excesses and only focuses on the necessary and yet, in the simplicity of the sentences one finds the profound. To be kind, to love, to be mindful and to be fully present are not the easiest things to do. While I am not a Buddhist, I read a lot of Zen literature as their approach to meditation and mindfulness parallels to what is needed to keep sane and to contemplation. In a world that throws us to the whirlwind of anxiety, fear, and anger, meditation stills us and allows us to be fully present to now.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Nithila

    Along with my greetings cards and letters this December (2019), I wrapped along this little treasure, for those I knew and loved, who were accidental practitioners of these Dharma teachings of the Buddha - the four immeasurable principles. Maitri (authentic friendship to oneself), Karuna (compassion to self and others), Mudita (extending our capacity for JOY), Upeksha (equanimity - unconditional acceptance of another and ourselves at a cellular level).. Thich Nhat Hanh, elaborates on these princ Along with my greetings cards and letters this December (2019), I wrapped along this little treasure, for those I knew and loved, who were accidental practitioners of these Dharma teachings of the Buddha - the four immeasurable principles. Maitri (authentic friendship to oneself), Karuna (compassion to self and others), Mudita (extending our capacity for JOY), Upeksha (equanimity - unconditional acceptance of another and ourselves at a cellular level).. Thich Nhat Hanh, elaborates on these principles, in simple ways to unlock doors to an extraordinary sense of being alive and in love.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Liza Pittard

    little read about loving people right

  29. 4 out of 5

    Alyssa Poulin

    Definitely want to learn more about mindful breathing and read more by Thich Nhat Hanh.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    A pleasant, quick read when you need a little energy tune-up. It offers some simple practical ways to get back in touch with who and what really matter (sans drivel).

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